Mark Twain called it “paradise”, and Joseph Conrad “a pearl”. The visuals of turquoise blue waters and white sand beaches pop up in our minds on hearing Mauritius. No doubt Mauritius is one of those few places in the world you can fall in love with immediately… even before landing.
But is that all? Is Mauritius only about picture perfect beaches? Have you ever wondered what else can Mauritius boast about? Mauritius isn’t just about beautiful beaches.
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Reasons to visit Mauritius Beyond Beaches
Very few people know that Mauritius has another side to it which gets overlooked. With history of different cultures, geological wonders, natural spectacles there is much more to this tiny gorgeous island called Mauritius.
If you are planning to visit the country, explore a different Mauritius besides just the beaches. Experience the new Mauritius!
Indulge in history
Much like India, the history of Mauritius is also linked to the British. In 1834, the British government chose Mauritius to bring in labourers on contract from other countries. Thus Apravasi Ghat became the place where Indians & Africans set their first step on Mauritian soil. They came via sea to work, mostly as plantation workers in sugarcane fields. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it also houses a museum that narrates the story of the role it played in Mauritian history.
Tip: The tour is free but photography is not allowed inside.
In contrast, Chateau Labourdonnais, another beautiful heritage site, tells us about the other side of plantation history… i.e. of the people who owned the plantations. Inspired by Italian neo-classical architecture, the residence was built mainly from teak wood and has a double colonnaded gallery.
Explore Greener pastures of Mauritius
Mauritius National Botanical Garden is one place you should start your explorations if you want to see Mauritius beyond beaches. Formally known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanic Garden, it is one of the most visited attractions in Mauritius.
The garden is located in the district of Pamplemousse. It was initially opened as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius nearly 300 years ago, later to become the national botanical garden of Mauritius.
The garden is so big that if you are really interested to explore it thoroughly, it might take a few days to cover the whole garden! It is populated with more than 650 varieties of plants among which are the famous Baobabs, the Palmier Bouteille, the ineluctable Giant Water Lilies, medicinal plants, a large spice garden and many more.
One of the main attractions of the botanical garden is the 85 different varieties of palm trees brought from different corners of the world. Other indigenous species of plants are also exhibited here.
Charge: MUR 500
If you are interested in seeing the lush green natural carpets, head over to Le Telfair & Golf course for a game of golf or two.
Wildlife in Mauritius
I can visit Mauritius just for this reason! For those who are interested in wildlife, Mauritius has plenty to offer. Though it has a relatively low diversity of wildlife compared to other African countries, you can still enjoy Lions, Caracals, Tigers, Zebras, Ostriches, Deer, African Antelopes, White Rhinoceros, Impalas, Kudus, Camels, Mauritius Kestrel and many more. Many of these are now extinct, for example the ever famous Dodo.
Casela World of Adventures
Nature, wildlife and adventure, all three put together makes a Casela World of Adventures. 😀 You can rough it out on a quad bike, or a slow Segway, hang on to ziplines, or if you don’t mind, unchained lions are waiting in their enclosures to hang out with you! You can feed the giraffes or ostriches, say hello to Zebras by taking a safari. The park is a great attraction for even kids.
Time: 9 Am to 5 PM
Charge: Adults Rs 700, Children Rs 450 for children between 3 and 12 years. If you book online, you’ll get 10% discount.
Visit Château de Labourdonnais
Château de Labourdonnais was built in 1859 and is an architectural masterpiece. This is an ancestral home that belongs to Christian Wiehe and his family. The château is split into two levels. The interesting thing about the architecture is that the ground floor consisting of dining room is decorated in the Victorian style whereas the bedroom on the first floor has been designed in French style.
The grand colonial home is surrounded by beautiful gardens, orchards of guavas, passion fruits and mangoes. Furthermore, a tasting bar to try their own rums and a souvenir boutique adorn it. The boutique also has jams, fruit jellies, fruit juices and sorbets made using natural fruit flavours from the orchards at Labourdonnais.
Charge: Adults Rs 750 and children Rs 400. The fee includes a guided tour of the château and a tasting of rum at The Tasting Bar.
Visit Curious corner
Curious Corner, as the name suggests, is for those of us who have curious and inquisitive minds and like to indulge in some harmless fun. Adults and kids, both are equally treated. I liked it very much.
So, if you are tired after indulging in self pampering activities and you want to give your brain some stimulating work out, then the answer is Curious Corner. Seems like, it is a house filled with a variety of delusional fantasies. As soon as you walk in, you and your brain, are both challenged to stir your straight forward thinking.
Seven-Coloured Earths at Chamarel
Again, this is one of the places which is not near a beach! Also, one of the more touristy spots in Mauritius. This seven-coloured earth is a rare natural phenomenon that is a must visit. This geological formation is said to have occurred as a result of decomposed basalt gullies. This decomposition was aided by the island’s hot and humid climate. It is said that if you mix the coloured sands together, they’ll eventually settle into separate layers.
So, just the sight of this colourful sand is incredible. The dunes are protected by a wooden fence with two viewing posts for tourists. Furthermore, what is most fascinating is, that the colours haven’t eroded in spite of the torrential rainfall Mauritius receives.
Charge: Rs 400 for adults and Rs 200 for children.
So, do not overlook a visit to Mauritius even if you are not a beach person. There is much more than pristine beaches. Experience the new Mauritius!
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This a great insight into Mauritus . The tortoise is truly big. Good that it cant run fast . That trick foto is funny , he he
Your photos are very beautiful. They bring out a very happy side of Mauritius. Didn’t know there are so many activities in Mauritius.
Thanks for sharing this. What is the best time to visit there?
Very useful information. Beautiful photos!!
Didn’t know there were so many more things to enjoy in Mauritius! The Seven-Coloured Earths look amazing! I’m definitely saving your blog post for reference later when I actually can visit this beautiful place.
Gawd the water is so blue. Is it this blue in real?
It’s hard to believe water could be so blue. Mauritius is indeed beautiful.
Yes, lovely beaches are what spring to mind when thinking about Mauritius. But there is so much more to experience when in Mauritius. The Botanical G.ardens for one look heavenly and the wildlife too promise some thrilling times. Definitely exploring Mauritius beyond its beaches is going to be a great experience.
To tell you the truth I knew Mauritius for its incredible beaches. I had no idea it had such a great wildlife as well and the huge botanical gardens. I am looking forward to a visit.
This really is a post that was needed to make people explore beyond the beaches. Surprised to see that Mark Twain was also there. But that guy is full of surprises. That turtle must be a 100 years old or so.
Great post! I also visited Mauritius a couple of months ago and did some of these things as well 🙂
Finally! A post that breaks the stereotypes of Mauritius. Such amazing reasons to visit a place for offbeat reasons other than the usual touristy stuff.
The curious corner looks so awesome! 🙂 Your wildlife pics are amazing! Even the seven coloured earths. Thanks for this eye-opening post!
Waiting for suitable date and pricing to visit Mauritius
Looks a beautiful and intersting place to visit. It’s one of those places that we know but not in any detail. Would love to visit soon.
Good list! It’ll come in handy when I go to Mauritius. 🙂
I didn’t actually realize there was so much “typically African” wildlife on the island. Lions & zebras? That’s pretty cool.
Is the wildlife indigenous to the place or imported from Africa. But I never pictured anything beyond beaches in Mauritius. This post breaks all the stereotypes attached to the place.
First of all: wow your pictures are gorgeous!
I always thought Mauritius is all about relaxing and eating and never really thought about going because I need a little bit of history and culture. I’ll now take a closer look 🙂
Wow, I had no idea Mauritius had so much to offer in terms of nature, adventure and wildlife – I had been one of those who heard the name and instantly associated it with beaches. Thankyou for broadening my perspective on what there is to do beyond the beaches!
I also thought so before visiting it. But the country opened my eyes wide awake. 🙂
I never realized Mauritius is such a diverse place. I am totally up for visiting now that I have seen that it has so much to offer to its visitors besides just beaches and resorts. Sounds like a great island to visit.
Good list! It’ll come handy when I go to Mauritius.
It’s amazing how a small island can offer such diverse set of activities! And the I love how you can get a combination of nature, wildlife, and adventures in this place! Also, it looks so peaceful as per the photos. Thanks for sharing!
My colleague from my former job is from Mauritius. I must admit I hadn’t heard of it until I met him and he was telling wonderful things about it! I couldn’t imagine a small island to offer a lot of things such as these.
Mauritius is on my bucket list for a while now! Your post was very motivational!
Nice… Would love to see what food it has to offer. What is the local cuisine here?
That’s the prettiest shade of blue water that I’ve ever seen! How was the travel cost to Mauritius? And what would be the best time to visit?
I love beaches but also like seeing the country, attractions and unique features or even adventure activities and it looks like you covered all of these. Mauritius has been on my bucket list and I would love to see all f these places one day.
Although we do like the beach and sea we are not really into lying on a beach all day doing nothing. We do like getting out and about and exploring and there is definitely a lot to do in Mauritius. The colonial style Chateau and its gardens definitely deserve and excursion.
I love visiting botanical gardens! I had no idea there were tigers and zebras inMauritius. All the more reason to visit!
Wow, this is great. You are right, when I think of Mauritius I only think of the exotic beaches but I am glad you shared this post cause how cool are there other things to do there that arent beach related.
The crazy adventurer in me would love to hit up the Wildlife park & Casela World of Adventure. The kid in me would love an afternoon playing in the Curious Corner. I love that stuff.
I too would love to see the 7 Colors of Earth. How amazing a planet we live on!
I’ve always wanted to get down to Mauritius, but I honestly had no idea there was so much to do there. I’d particularly like to see the Seven-Coloured Earths, as I love landscapes like that. Is there a nature reserve to see the animals, or are they just in the wild? Which of the animals you listed are now extinct there?
You are so right; I have always pictured Mauritius as a beach paradise and nothing more than that. But it seems to have so much to offer. The seven colours shaded earth is what has attracted me most. The adventure activities clubbed with some wildlife will be fun too. Great pictures as always.
I wish I knew about all these places when we visited on our honeymoon 7 years ago! We pretty much explore the beaches and did the usual touristy things and I had no idea about many of the places you’ve mentioned here, like Mauritius National Botanical Garden. I do remember doing our first ever ATV tour and it was fantastic, amidst hills and greenery and wildlife. Yet, there are several places here which I haven’t even heard of and would’ve loved to explore, if I knew about their existence. Thanks for showing us there’s so much more in Mauritius beyond beaches.
The Curious corner looks really interesting..
I had traveled to Mauritius for honeymoon , however somehow missed this place…
I agree there are many things to do in Mauritius apart from just going to the beaches.
When was your honeymoon? This Curious Corner is fairly new.
Absolutely. This destination is for all ages, for all likes. 🙂